The area in which monsters attack has been gradually reduced over the years (and is now down to a single cell around each monster), but the monster attack mechanic has not changed since the game first came out. Update 2.45 will introduce a new system for managing monster aggression which we hope will be less frustrating and easier to understand.

Our primary goal: Making exploration exciting

Monster attacks in DOFUS are generally seen as a useless constraint. While there may be valid criticisms of the way in which it is currently applied, we still believe that a good monster aggression system is an interesting gameplay mechanic.
DOFUS presents an open world in which characters can move about freely without strict constraints (e.g. there are very few level restrictions on character access to various areas). However, it is difficult to make exploration exciting when characters can move through any area right from the beginning of the game. We like the idea that certain areas may be dangerous for beginning characters, that venturing into those areas represents a significant risk, and that by leveling up, characters can gradually become powerful enough to explore ever more dangerous areas.
Having areas that are dangerous for low- to mid-level characters is a good way to make discovering the different areas of the game a more gradual process. It also allows us to ensure that not just any character (unless they are willing to accept a higher level of difficulty) can have access to quests or resources that are primarily intended for higher-level characters.
Whenever possible, we want to avoid imposing strict constraints on access to different areas based on character level; we prefer to make virtually all areas accessible to all characters, as long as they are willing to face the associated risks.

How the new system works

We wanted to make the attack system more dynamic. From now on, standing still will put characters in danger, and running will be the best way to avoid aggressive monsters.
Here's how monster attacks will work in the new system:
  • Detection: Monsters have a field of vision (between 2 and 4 cells; these parameters may continue to change). When a character enters this field of vision, an attack may occur.
  • Evaluation: By default, virtually all monsters in the game will be able to attack characters if the difference between the monster's level and the character's level is sufficiently large. If this difference is greater than 50 levels, the monster will attempt to attack the character (e.g. a monster at level 140 will attempt to attack a character at level 80). The number of levels that triggers an attack may change based on the results of our tests and your feedback.
  • Attempted attack: If the target evaluation condition is met, and if the character is within the monster's field of vision (i.e. within a few cells of it) for more than 3 seconds, then a battle will start. As soon as a monster detects a potential target that it might choose to attack, a small symbol will appear above it to warn players that it's time to get out of there! The field of vision for attack purposes is determined by the leader of a group of monsters.
A character who keeps moving should therefore be able to easily avoid monster attacks. We intend to take full advantage of this more flexible new system to make certain areas of the game dangerous for characters who aren't attentive enough, or who aren't supposed to be there in the first place (too big a difference between the monsters' level and that of the characters).
This system resolves the problems that players sometimes encountered in tunnels and narrow areas: it will no longer be necessary to wait for monsters to move, as long as you don't stay in one place on the map for too long if the monsters there are inclined to attack your character.
When a group of monsters is potentially about to attack your character, a specific symbol will appear when moving the cursor over that group of monsters.

Highly aggressive monsters

Certain monsters will always be aggressive (such as Wabbits or Bworks), regardless of the character's level. This mode will be used in areas where we want exploration to be more difficult and dangerous.
Most monsters will only be aggressive towards characters whose level is far too low for the given area. This approach lets us discourage exploration (without banning it outright) in areas that are not appropriate for the character's strength and abilities.
With the current parameters (with the rule that triggers attacks when there is a 50-level difference between monster and character), characters at level 150 or above will no longer be attacked by the majority of the classic monsters.

Monster movement

Monsters' behavior outside of combat will also be modified: monsters will persistently (but slowly) try to approach characters walking through their part of the map. It will therefore be important not to stop in one place for too long on a map that has monsters that might attack your character. The frequency of monsters' movement outside of combat has not changed.

Future changes

The parameters described in this article may change in the course of the tests you'll be running in the beta phase for Update 2.45.
We welcome your feedback on your experience with the new system.



Can harvests be interrupted?

Harvests can be interrupted by monster attacks. You will have to be careful when sending a low-level character to gather resources in significantly higher-level areas.
However, the delay between detection by a monster and the start of an attack should be long enough for attentive harvesters to avoid most attacks.
We allow aggressive monsters to interrupt harvests in order to prevent characters (using the action queue) from harvesting freely on maps that have monsters which are supposed to attack them.

Why aren't there any consumables or Achievements to make characters immune to monster attacks?

We believe that attacks by aggressive monsters can be a useful mechanic for making exploration more exciting. We don't want certain characters to be able to bypass this mechanic completely in areas where we want it to apply consistently.
We do not rule out the possibility of eventually letting characters use Achievements or consumables to protect themselves from attacks, but we do not want to use these as generic mechanisms.

How do monsters decide which characters to attack?

A monster may detect multiple characters to attack in its field of vision. The first character it attacks will then be the first one it noticed; in case of a tie, it will attack the lowest-level character. Let's face it… these monsters are just not nice :]
Category: Game design